This might sound weird, but I’m actually pretty sick of talking about consent. As a fan of sex, what I really want to talk about is desire. Want. Lust. Need. Craving. But I can’t talk about all those cool things without also having to explain the basics of consent. Because some pricks still cannot drag themselves over this, the lowest possible bar. Consent! Fuck my life! It’s the most boring sexual basic! Consent is vital, of course, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also dull. Like that bit at the start of a cupcake recipe where they tell you what temperature you should set your oven to – it’s not the most interesting part of the recipe, but without it you can’t make cakes.
There are three parts to this story. You don’t have to believe them all. In fact, if you don’t believe any of them it doesn’t matter much to me. There are many of you I love and respect, but few who I rely on for the kind of intimacy I’d expect of a partner or friend. But if you’re my friend, my lover, or anyone else who cares about me, I need you to believe me when I tell you about my life.
Something is seriously wrong with our men. Our young, white men in particular. It’s easy to see the links when it’s all laid out in front of you: the vast majority of mass killers are men, violence against women is common of many mass killers many – or most – of whom openly hate women. Recently ‘Incels’ (a label that means ‘involuntary celibate’) have been in the news, thanks to one incel who decided he was so angry he needed to take it out on society by killing people. And while we’re now having a welcome discussion about how dangerous misogyny can be, I can’t help but think we’re not fully addressing the problem.